2011 is a very special year for two Australian motoring icons. For one, it’s the 50th anniversary of Queensland’s first permanent, purpose-built raceway: Lakeside Park. It’s also marks the 60th anniversary of Holden’s FX Utility, a vehicle widely considered by enthusiasts to be the forefather of the home grown Aussie “ute”. In recognition of these historic occasions, we took a Holden VE Series II SS Ute for a test drive and headed north to attend the first of Lakeside’s three 50th anniversary events. Part one of this feature will cover my impressions of the Ute, whilst part two will take in the event itself. So let’s get cracking.
The VE Ute is already an attractive vehicle and in SS guise this is complemented with 18-inch alloys, front fog lights and a lowered sports suspension. With its 6.0 L V8 the SS is certainly powerful, but it’s also safe with a maximum 5-star ANCAP rating thanks to its six airbags and electronic stability control.